LeMahieu rehab setback: Yankees not overly concerned but internally baffled

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John Allen
Thursday April 25, 2024

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The return of New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu to the lineup will be delayed yet again due to lingering soreness in his right foot. The team announced on Wednesday that he will undergo a one-week shutdown to focus on treatment and will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.

Manager Aaron Boone confirmed that LeMahieu is dealing with residual edema, a buildup of fluid, following an MRI and CT scan performed before their Wednesday game against the Oakland Athletics. 

This setback comes after LeMahieu exited his first minor league rehab game with Double-A Somerset on Tuesday after just one at-bat. General Manager Brian Cashman emphasized that the soreness appeared suddenly, without any specific incident triggering it.

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Reacting to the news, teammate Aaron Judge expressed his understanding of the situation, acknowledging LeMahieu’s vital role on the Yankees over the past few seasons. Judge emphasized that getting LeMahieu healthy is the top priority, as the team thrives when he’s on the field.

While another delay is certainly not ideal, Boone reassured reporters that he wasn’t overly concerned at this point. LeMahieu has been sidelined since March 16th after injuring his foot during a spring training game.

Initially placed on the injured list with a right foot contusion at the start of the season, LeMahieu was aiming for a return in mid-April. The Yankees had planned a rehab assignment starting around April 18th or 19th with the expectation of a quick return to the major leagues. However, an additional MRI revealed lingering issues, forcing the postponement of his rehab assignment until this past Tuesday.  

Boone expressed some surprise at Tuesday’s development, as LeMahieu appeared eager to rejoin the team and had looked healthy during fielding practice and batting exercises.

“A little bit,” Boone said about the rehab set back, “because I know he’s been chomping at the bit because really, for the last two weeks, he’s felt really good. And what I’ve seen, just with my eyes watching him take ground balls, watching him hit, he’s looked really good.”

How far LeMahieu’s setback impact Yankees’ infield plans

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The news of DJ LeMahieu’s setback throws a curveball at the previously optimistic outlook on his return. The 35-year-old infielder’s absence will be extended by at least a week due to lingering foot soreness.

This is particularly concerning considering the Yankees’ current offensive struggles, with most hitters outside of outfielder Juan Soto slumping. LeMahieu’s return was anticipated to provide a much-needed boost to the lineup.

The situation is further complicated by injuries impacting the infield. With regular second baseman Jon Berti sidelined by a strained groin and nearing a potential rehab assignment this weekend, the return of an experienced player like LeMahieu was crucial. However, his continued absence creates a more complex predicament.

His brief appearance with Double-A Somerset on Tuesday only intensified the complexity. He managed just one at-bat, consisting of two swings and a foul ball, before exiting the game prematurely.

General Manager Brian Cashman expressed concerns about the team’s vulnerabilities, particularly with first-base coverage in the absence of LeMahieu’s usual backup role for Anthony Rizzo. Furthermore, Berti’s injury creates a void on the left side of the infield, further highlighting the team’s current state of vulnerability due to these key players being sidelined.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “LeMahieu rehab setback: Yankees not overly concerned but internally baffled

  1. The Yankees medical staff and how they operate has been a problem for years and needs to totally be overhauled. My first thing to do is to get rid of any non medical people out of the mix. My next thing is to lessen the importance of any gizmos that simulate pitching, hitting. playing defense. Those things are not a substitute for real action, no matter how good they are.

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